Saturday, March 04, 2017

Fiasco at the Oscars, a different experience at this year’s MWC, networking in Barcelona, Nokia stole the show, home again, "Husum", an emotional farewell Yoigo dinner and other stories.

Sunday 5th March, 2016
At this year's Mobile World Congress
Hi again,

What a week it's been and I am shattered but happy.

Last Sunday I set off for Barcelona, destination the 10th edition there of the Mobile World Congress to which 100.000 delegates were also heading.  It was to be crowded as always and very exciting.  I have been going for the last 9 years with Yoigo and this year I was to be going alone.  It would be a different experience as a freelance communications consultant. Instead of staying at a luxury hotel in the city, my accommodation would be at my dear friend Grainne's flat in Badalona, a dormitory town by the sea on the outskirts.  Instead of taking taxis everywhere I would be using the free public transport voucher that came with the MWC pass; which I had never bothered to use before.  I would also be paying for my own food rather than wining and dining at Barcelona's finest restaurants, although, luckily I did get to go to one where I was invited. This year's pass came from friends at Nokia, my old company, not from Yoigo.  This year I would not be representing Yoigo nor organising their traditional MWC party which I inaugurated years ago and nor would I be hosting a press conference for them.  Instead I would be networking, meeting with one of my customers and scouting for others.  Most people at the MWC show off and sell their latest technological "wares". I would be selling myself which for me would be new, challenging and at times difficult and even a little humiliating.  It was a funny feeling, going to the MWC and not representing a company, just myself.  

I didn't take a company paid taxi to the train station on Sunday morning.  Instead, my dear husband took me.  I caught the 10.30 a.m. "Ave" (high speed train") which with just one stop in Zaragoza, saw me at the Barcelona station "Sants" at 13.15.  I was in what's called the "silent coach"; not of my choice but the only place I could get a seat.  You cannot talk loud here, nor talk on your mobile, etc.  There is still no wifi on the train although I heard it was soon coming. During the journey I worked on my MWC schedule for Monday and Tuesday, finalising meeting and lunch/dinner appointments.  As soon as I arrived I went straight to the MWC badge collection kiosk outside to get my physical pass.  And here I am, all set up for the Congress.
I collected my MWC badge at the Sants train station in Barcelona
Instead of taking a taxi to Barcelona, I took the train using a free ticket that comes with having a high speed train ticket.  The MWC free public transport would only start on the Monday. 20 minutes later I was at Badalona station and walked the 20 minutes it takes to get to Grainne and Marcel's flat at the end of the "Rambla" (sea front). It was a glorious sunny day.

I was on time for lunch with them and it was to be a delicious dish of roast chicken with chips.  I promise I only had one or two of latter.  It was so great to see them again. Grainne and I go back a long way, having attended St. Joseph's College school together in Bradford too many years ago to calculate now.  Grainne is the sister of Brenda who was my class mate and is now a nurse living in Manchester.  Of course we would talk to her that afternoon, using Face Time on her older sister's iPad. 
With Grainne on Sunday
Dear Grainne had given me her own big double bedroom with its en suite bathroom which was really kind but not necessary.  After lunch I spent time settling in.  Later we would go for a walk with her miniature dog Tommy and spend a relaxing evening together.  She got me to watch a DVD of "Mrs. Brown's Boys" a funny Irish series I had never seen but had me in stitches.  You see Grannie and her sisters (the Maher sisters) are of Irish origin. 

Meanwhile, Suzy who lives in London, was using the car she rents for her community dietitian visits with the NHS,  to go on a road trip to Canterbury with her flat mates, Chati and Anita and another friend I can't identify.  They later told me they loved it and I wasn't surprised as it's one of the most beautiful towns in England.  Here they are together enjoying visiting Canterbury, the seat of the Church of England.
Suzy and her friends in Canterbury last Sunday
Grainne and I carried on watching TV. I was a bit aghast when I saw she has a taste for Big Brother VIP but we talked through it thankfully.  I went to bed early and slept very well in her big comfortable bed. 

On Monday, I was up early and over a lovely nespresso coffee I read the news about the Oscars which had taken place the night before.  The biggest news was the fiasco in the Best picture prize.  There was a mix up with the envelopes when it was announced that La La Land had won.  Only when the Director of the latter was giving his acceptance speech was he interrupted to hear that the real winner was Moonlight.  So, you see, the main news of the Oscars was this big unpardonable mistake.  Well I don't think I will be seeing La La Land nor Moonlight.  I am far more interested in the Indian film, Lion, which although it didn't win best foreign picture, caused a big impact with the 8 year old Indian actor, Sunny Pawar who was there to represent the film, coming from a very humble background in Bombay. Everyone wanted to be seen with him, all the famous stars. He was happy to receive them but admitted that he had no idea who they were.  With his lovely smile and background he stole the show.  
Sunny Pawar, the 8 year old Indian boy from the film Lion who stole the show at this year's Oscars.
I left Grainne's flat at around 9 and walked the 20 minutes to the train station where I would use my free MWC public transport ticket to travel to Hospitalet, the huge dormitory town outside Barcelona where the congress is held. I hate the new venue which is just so ginormous. I had to take a taxi from the station to the "Fira".  My first stop at the congress was to take a photo outside the South Entrance where the words Fira Barcelona are built in stone.  Everyone takes photos there. This was mine on Monday morning.
Outside the "Fira" on Monday morning.
I don't know how big the venue is but to me it is just too big, teeming with the 100.000 delegates and stands of all sorts. I later read that probably the most expensive was the one belonging to Huawei.  The floor space alone cost the Chinese company 6 million euros and another 6 million to build!

I made a beeline for the Nokia (Networks) stand, the one I always visit first as Nokia was a company I worked for from 2000 to 2006 and I still carry the brand in my heart although it is very different today.  The people I wanted to see most were Paloma and Cristina, 2 lovely assistants who have survived all the joint ventures and take overs and who for me embody the spirit of the company. I just love the 2 girls.  Here they are manning the stand.
Cristina and Paloma manning the Nokia stand at the MWC

There I was to see other familiar faces such as Nestor or Javi Sauras.  I was to miss my dear ex colleague Emilio B but would see more ex colleagues there the next day.  Soon we were joined by Julio, another ex Nokia colleague, and the person I call my best male friend in Spain. 

The main themes of this year's MWC seemed to be 5G, IOT (the internet of things), artificial intelligence, virtual reality and lots of new smartphones which for me all look alike.  The one that didn't look alike and stole the show though was the retro iconic Nokia 3310 which was launched at this year's MWC. Its popularity and fame soon stole the limelight of the likes of Huawei and Samsung and many others  but more about that later. Julio and I left the Nokia stand to take a short tour of some of the stands that most interested us.  It was on the Telefónica stand that I bumped into one of my bosses of the first company I ever worked for; Defex the arms exporter!!!  It was dear Paco Bergia and so nice to see him and talk about some of the amazing things we did at Defex. Here we are together.
With Paco Bergia on the Telefónica stand.
We then visited Qvantel, the Finnish company that provides Yoigo's IT system.  It was great to greet Diego there. Nearby was the Spanish government telecoms agency, where the Spanish Minister was about to give a speech.  Here I greeted some of the telecoms journalists as well as the head of Ametic (private telecoms association) Benigno. It was nearly 2pm by then and Julio and I were hungry.  He took me to the old Bull Ring in the Plaza España which has now been turned into a shopping centre.  Here we had lunch on the top floor at a lovely place called Mussel.  Unfortunately Julio had a back problem and was in pain and would be returning to Madrid that night. So my "comrade in arms" would not be accompanying me that night to the Yoigo party , or should I now say MásMóvil party, a tradition I created for the company at the MWC many years ago.  I had decided to gate crash it thinking I didn't really need an invitation but I would be nervous walking in without Julio  not knowing what sort of reception I would receive.

I had agreed to meet my ex colleague, Jesús, from our Motorola days, afterwards, with whom I will shortly be collaborating on an exciting communications project.  It was great to see him as he has always been one of my favourite colleagues ever.  Such a nice guy with such a great reputation. He's like a brother to me really. Here we are together at the top of the Bull Ring overlooking the old venue of the MWC which we all far preferred.
With dear Jesús on Monday afternoon
From Plaza de España I had to navigate my way back to Badalona. Thanks to the google maps app I saw I had to take a bus, yes a bus, the H12 which would take me to Plaza Cataluña where I could catch a train to Badalona. With some time on my hands upon arrival I decided to window shop on the Carrer de Mar where I remembered there were some nice low-cost boutiques. They seem to have gone now but I did wander in to H+M and Mango where I didn't find anything.  I then went into Stradivarius which belongs to Zara (Inditex) which I think aims more at teenagers. I didn't expect to buy anything until I fell in love with an emroidered, imitation black leather mini skirt which I decided to wear that night to the MásMóvil party together with a black shirt I found; all size S!!! This is the lovely skirt.
The mini skirt I got from Stradivarius on Monday afternoon.

Then it was back to Grainne's. She was in the throes of giving an English lesson to a shy and giggling group of 12  and 13 year old's who wouldn't open their mouths to me in English, except to say yes or no.  Spaniard's greatest obstacle when learning a language is embarrassment. Soon it was time to leave again.

Once again I walked to the station and took the train to Plaza Cataluña from where I would take a taxi to the MásMóvil party venue. I can't remember what it was called, only that it's near Calle Tuset.  I didn't like the venue, it was too dark and loud; not a place I would have chosen. It was full of the new company's yellow branding and there were no more than 3 or 4 Yoigo people.  In fact there were more people I didn't know than I did and I felt funny. However I got a very nice reception from my ex boss Fernando and the head of HR, Roberto; the guy who made me redundant. Yep the guy who fired me is actually a very nice guy and I know he didn't want to fire me. It was orders from above.   They made me feel welcome. It was also nice to see "my girls", or rather my events agency, QuintaEsencia, team, as well as Isabel from Ketchum my PR agency. There were some familiar faces though and I got a huge welcome from the CEO of Ericsson Spain, Jose Antonio who I have known since my Motorola days when he was a distributor.  Here we are together at the party.
With José Antonio the CEO of Ericsson Spain at the "Yoigo" party
There were more former colleagues too, such as Gonzalo, Juan Luis and Luis from our Motorola days and we just had to have a photo together. You see we go back now some 27 years when mobile phones first took off in the world.
With my ex Motorola colleagues at the MásMóvil party

Meeting them was the highlight of the night.  With new decor and new company atmosphere, I didn't feel comfortable. I only really went to see people I know and love but this year's party was just not the same. It certainly didn't have my stamp.  So when the CEO made his speech I went to the lady's room.  No I wasn't sick but I felt it. It was late and I hardly ate anything. I didn't see many cocktail trays and was very hungry.  So I decided to leave. I had had enough. Just as I was leaving my ex CEO, Johan, and founder of Yoigo came but I only saw him fleetingly unfortunately. If truth is to tell he was really the only person I wanted to see that night. You see we were both the heart and soul of Yoigo and we have left a big void.

Being late, this time I took a taxi back to Badalona and was there by just after 12.  I felt like Cinderalla and awfully hungry so grabbed a banana from Grainne's kitchen. That night at the party I had had just one glass of red wine. But it was enough for me to wake up the next morning with an undeserved blinding headache.  Oh how I hate my headaches. I promised I wouldn't drink another glass the following night but I did.  However the quality of the wine was much much better and I didn't get the dreaded headache. 

On Tuesday once again I was up early.  I had to leave at 9 a.m. and just as I leftm Oli sent a photo of her and Pippa from our kitchen.  Since I had left for Barcelona I had had little contact with my family, except for whatsapp updates, as I was so busy. Her message made me feel a little guilty.
Oli and Pippa sent me greetings on Tuesday morning
This time Grainne joined me on my walk down the Rambla to the train station as she was off to a meeting. Here we are the two of us, such friends, a bit like sisters really. Love you darling.
With Grainne on the Rambla at Badalona on Tuesday morning.
It was to be another morning at the Fira, my second and I had two appointments and a few more objectives to achieve. Trying to see people is a difficult task as it is so crowded and the venue is so damned large.  100.000 people crushed into the MWC is so crazy but I must say it's great for exercise and for bumping, unexpectedly, into people even if often you can only briefly say hello as everyone is so busy.
MWC17 so crowded with delegates and brands. It's crazy
Once again my first stop was at the Nokia stand. It's always my home at the Mobile World Congress. Here I was to meet up with a former colleague, P. Comas, who now works for Ericsson.  He is one of those colleagues you never forget and are always happy to see. He was happy to see Paloma too and here we are together.

I couldn't stay long as I had an appointment immediately.  Just as I was leaving Nokia, it was delayed which gave me time to take a quick sneak of the iconic 3310 which was the congress mascot.  As I went up to take a closer look, one of the  HMD Global (name of the company behind the comeback) stand employees came up to show me their new range of smartphones which they had also announced at the beginning of the congress.  But I was not interested as I imagine many other people weren't.  We all wanted a trip down the mobile phone memory lane of the past.  I joined Nokia in 2000 and I think the 3310 was launched in 2001.  And here I am with it. It's been refreshed in looks, with different colours but is only 2G,  makes calls and sends sms and has a very basic camera.  So no it doesn't have whatsapp. But at 49 euros and a battery life of up to a month it will have its public I hope.
Me holding the come back Nokia 3310 phone at the MWC.
It felt good. It was a good fit. I admired HMD for having stolen the limelight of the congress with this great PR stunt and one of the smallest floor spaces at the congress. They had just a small display outside the huge real Nokia stand.  But cleverly they had a Nordic design wooden cafeteria just outside which I found more attractive than the inside stands. It was here that I asked to talk to the head of communications globally, Kerry P, from the UK by the way and who had studied at Nottingham University like me.  Of course I found that out on LinkedIn. We met!  She was lovely but there are no communications jobs at the moment. I hope there will be soon as I would not mind returning to  Nokia, the company of my dreams. 

From Nokia I made my way to Huawei to meet someone called Daniel González who wanted to meet me. He had found me on the marvelous MWC app but I had no idea who he was.  I was amazed to find out that he was only 15 and the youngest blogger at the congress. He is a You Tuber obsessed with technology and the founder of a blog/PR portal called Appleros. His father was accompanying him as his cameraman! Seeing him in action I could imagine him one day as the future Spanish version of Bill Gates. He was busy doing a review of the latest Huawei phone and their PR representative was treating him as if he were the most seasoned journalist which made me very pleased. This boy, who I told should finish school first, will definitely go far.
Daniel González, the youngest blogger at the congress
At the Huawei stand whilst talking to Daniel, I came across two more ex Nokia colleagues, now with Sony Mobile, Isidro who is the CEO and Ignacio who is the head of sales.  I immediately introduced Daniel to them. It was great to see my old colleagues if only fleetingly.

From there I went to visit a Finnish IT systems company who I know are in need of help in projecting an image and building their brand.  So I made my sales pitch to 3 Finns, one Indian and a Swede, the CEO.  I'm not sure what they thought of me but introducing my services to them was one of my objectives at the fair this year.  

On my way out I bumped into journalists and the CEO of the company that bought us. It felt funny being with the journalists yet outside the company.  Anyway, it was now nearly 3pm and I was starving thus I walked in search of food. There were huge queues everywhere so, my objectives of the day fulfilled, I decided to leave and go back to Badalona for a bit of a rest until the evening.  In the end I had a measly menu of the day at the Hospitalet train station which actually was quite tasty and very cheap hahaha. 

Once back in Badalona, I went in search of flowers to give to Grainne but couldn't find a flower shop that was open. Instead I went into a nice looking home and kitchen type store and bought her 2 cushions and candle lantern for her new flat.  She was home when I got in and we had some fruit and a cup of tea together.  Then a neighbour of hers, Rosa, came and I found myself telling her the story of how I met Eladio.  Suddenly it was late and I had to get ready to go out again. 

At 7.30pm I met Marc, another ex Nokia colleague, at the Zurich cafeteria in Plaza Cataluña where we chatted and caught up on each other's lives over a glass of beer and tonic water (me).  We had so much to say and time flew past and very soon it was time for my next appointment, dinner with my former boss from Nokia, Félix, who today is the Country Manager of Qualcomm Spain. Dear Marc who lives in Barcelona, drove me there. Félix or rather his secretary, had booked a table at a new restaurant called A Tempo housed in a very modern hotel called Mirror. The restaurant chef is Jordi Cruz of Spanish Masterchef fame.  And wow was it good.

As usual Félix was late. He always is but it was great to see him.  It was to be a lovely relaxing dinner where he ordered far too much food.  It was a gangster 20's themed restaurant which I found delightful. This time I had a wonderful glass of wine which did not give me a headache.
Slow cooked egg dish at A Tempo on Tuesday night in Barcelona
We ate and talked until quite late and it was great to catch up. As usual he acted as my coach and when I told him I had felt a little humiliated selling my services at the congress he told me off.  He even said I was an "icon" of the sector and should be proud of myself.  He made me feel good.  Very kindly too, he drove me all the way back to Badalona to Grainne's house. Thanks Félix it was a great dinner. 

The next morning, I was up at 6.30 after just a bit more than 5 hours sleep.  I had breakfast with Grainne then had to pack, leave and say goodbye to her and to Barcelona and this year's Mobile World Congress. 

I caught the 10 am Ave train which was a bit slower going back as it stopped at Tarragona, Zaragoza and also Guadalajara. En route, despite the limited mobile signal, I did another job application via LinkedIn which seems to be the main place these days to find a job.  At 13.10 we arrived in Madrid to lovely sunshine. My taxi driver (Eladio) was faithfully waiting for me outside the Atocha train station and soon I was home for lunch with my Father and him. 

At lunch my Father thanked me for the poem in German by Theodor Storm that my ex Nokia colleague, Veronica,  had sent to me for him on Facebook after reading that the was a fan of the German author. I asked my Father what the poem was called and he said "The grey town by the sea". He told me it was in reference to Storm's home town "Husum". 
Husum in Germany today. It doesn't look very grey to me. 
He then went on to reveal he had been stationed in Husum in 1946 after the war, with the Control Commission in Germany run by the British Armed Forces. I knew he had worked for the CCG  that  was responsible for rebuilding Germany (well the British occupied part; the rest was divided between France, the US and Russia as we well know and that was how the Berlin wall came about) and hunting down escaped Nazis. That's about as much as I knew. But thanks to Veronica's poem I found out my My Father was head of Intelligence in Husum where he was  more involved in the rebuilding of the country.  He said many of his co-workers were ex German Jews who had fled to England during the war and had taken on English surnames.  I also know that it was in Germany at that time that my Father learned to drive a Beetle Volkswagen although he never drove again.  Interested to know more I scoured the net and there wasn't much about the CCG. However I did find a blog written by a British historian called Christopher Knowles whose speciality is Anglo German relations during that period.  He has even written a book called "Winning the Peace" which I would have bought there and then if it hadn't cost 80 pounds. But I wrote to Mr. Knowles telling him about my Father and the next day he wrote back. He was very interested to know more about my Father's co-workers and wants to speak to him. After all there can't be many of the CCG members like my Father who are still alive.  I wrote back to say we lived in Madrid so maybe we are a bit too far for him to come but who knows.  

My Father knew very well that Husum was Theodor Storm's home town and told me that in 1946 it was derelict but that on a trip to Hamburg in the 50's with my Mother they visited Husum and the house had been restored. Isn't that an interesting story if there ever was one?
Theodor Storm's house in Husum in Germany where my Father was stationed after WW2

The rest of the day was to be pretty rushed too as at 5pm I had my weekly English conversation class with Carmen.  Then I had to get ready to go out again, this time to the centre of Madrid. I was meeting a dear ex colleague from Motorola, Didier from Brussels who was in Madrid for business. He used to be the Country Manager for Belgium. He is a highly intelligent and entertaining man with a great sense of humour. Since Motorola he worked for Orange for a few years then set up a chain of mobile phone shops. He now runs repair centres too and is working on more projects.  I left the Yoigo mini car at the car park at Colonia Jardin and took the metro to Alonso Martín where I was picking him up. We took a taxi to El Paraguas restaurant where I had booked a table at 8pm, European time. In Spain most people eat from 9pm onwards.  El Paraguas is an Asturian restaurant and the food is of superb quality.  

With Didier on Wednesday night in Madrid
We had so much to talk about, so much to catch up on and conversation flowed easily as we had been such good colleagues.  At 10.30 we left the restaurant and took a taxi back to Alonso Martínez where we said goodbye. From some of our conversation I have a feeling we will see each other sometime soon as we may well be collaborating work wise. Well wouldn't that be nice?

Oli had waited up for me at home. I hadn't seen her since the Saturday before I left for Barcelona. She again accused me of abandoning her and Eladio this week and she is right. But I was so busy as you have gathered by now.  In compensation I showed her my Stradivarius leather and embroidered skirt which she loved and offered to let her wear it the next day to work. It's so nice being able to wear each other's clothes.

It was great to see Pippa too who got very excited when she saw me but once in bed she soon settled down as you can see in the picture I took. She looks so sweet in between the bed sheets doesn't she?
Pippa in our bed on Wednesday night
For once I slept very well and I needed to after so many busy days and little sleep. 

On Thursday I was awake at 6.10. I felt bushed after such a hectic week.  That day I managed to get 2 walks in and  organise my work and personal agenda after the MWC. That afternoon I had an important speech to write for the goodbye Yoigo dinner I had organised for some of my closest colleagues at Bistro Naia in Plaza de la Paja which is partly owned by one of my colleagues, Pedro. 

What a wonderful emotional night it turned out to be.  So many colleagues came and we literally took over the restaurant. Nearly all of us had been part of the founding team and the people who came that night really mattered to me.  We were one big team. But they were all in for a surprise when our ex Swedish CEO, Johan, walked in together with Peter, another Swede who was very much part of Yoigo. They were the surprise I had prepared and they made the difference that night. People couldn't believe it and we were all hugging and laughing.  When it was time to make my speech Johan introduced me.  You see I used to write his speeches and introduce him. So this time the tables were turned.  
Making my emotional speech at the Yoigo goodbye dinner
This, by the was, my speech (in Spanish) which I called "Goodbye Yoigo, I will never forget".
My goodbye Yoigo speech
Someone taped me giving part of the speech and which you can watch here in the video that was taken.

The next day I wrote on Facebook; "what an amazing and emotional night it was, my Yoigo goodbye dinner with the people who really mattered: you have been my fellow travellers on our greatest professional journey and project. We made Yoigo together and I will never forget you or what we did. We are the #Yoigo family. Thanks for the trip my friends and thanks for coming last night. It meant so much to me. My last words: it's the people that count, not the companies and I will carry you in my heart always". 

Of course we had to take photos of the group to immortalise the moment and here we are, all together as if it were another Yoigo party, this time my goodbye party.
The goodbye Yoigo dinner party was a blast.  Just so emotional
A group selfie at the farewell dinner
My dear colleagues had a surprise in store for me too when they handed me a Michael Kors bag. Inside was this beautiful bracelet which I put on there and then and love. 
The beautiful bracelet my colleagues bought me
I will not take it off ever, even in the shower.
At the Yoigo farewell dinner receiving the beautiful bracelet.
As Belen, who bought it said, "elegant and simple like you".  I was very very touched.

All good things come to an end and the dinner party had to end too.  We said our goodbyes and vowed to have more dinners together and to create a group and add more members who weren't able to come that night.  As Marta said, "Masha will create "Yoigo Nights" hahaha, in reference to the "Yoigo Mornings" I used to organise for staff meetings. You bet I will.  

I was home really late and didn't fall asleep until nearly 2 am but even so woke up on Friday morning at 6.30 am. I was still feeling emotional the next day after the lovely goodbye dinner but in a way it was good. It was closure after leaving the company; like the wound healing. 

Finally I had a quiet day. It was awful weather and I spent most of the morning at the dentist and having x-rays done because of an abscess on my gums next to a very old bridge. Thankfully it had burst and I was prescribed antibiotics. That day I didn't get to go on either of my 2 walks because of the visit to the dentist but also because of the foul weather. It was so cold and wet on Friday and I was so tired, I skipped the walks. I couldn't skip the food shopping though and was lucky that I had Oli to help me. It's such a big chore although I've got it down to a fine art and do it in under 45 minutes hahaha.  

We came home to unpack the food helped by Salu and made dinner. Normally we go out to dinner on Friday nights but this week all I wanted was to have dinner at home after so many engagements and nights out. We were to have fresh artichokes, a plate of fine ham, a plate of superb smoked salmon and a prawn salad.  Eladio was delighted to see the kitchen table with so much lovely, healthy and delicious food when he came back from his private lessons. 
Our lovely diner on Friday night
Yesterday I was up early again and enjoyed a quiet breakfast. On Satruday I did get in my 2 walks. It was cold but thankfully very sunny. I came home to find Oli in the kitchen with the dogs. Believe it or not, Pippa was lying on top of Elsa our Lab as if she were a bed or a pillow hahaha.  She does it quite often but it is always difficult to capture it on camera. 
Pippa on top of Elsa 
Pippa and Elsa were very frisky that morning and I also caught them on camera playing whilst Norah looked on from her bed rather disdainfully hahaha.
The dogs in the kitchen yesterday morning
That morning I cooked and I made a dish I haven't made for ages, to the delight of my family. I decided to make lasagna and to skip my diet as it was the weekend. And here I am pouring on the home made bechamel sauce which I should add was made with skimmed milk. I made the lowest calorie lasagna I could hahaha. By the way I am wearing the lovely apron QuintaEsencia gave me in my birthday present box last month.
Happily making lasagna on Saturday morning
After lunch and a short siesta, I was left alone.  Eladio went off to his private lessons and Oli to Madrid to meet colleagues from her previous TV programme "Aqui en Madrid". I spent the time writing this week's post until Eladio returned for dinner.

And today is Sunday and promises to be a quiet day with the family which is just what I need after such a hectic week.  

Therefore, my friends, I shall leave you now to publish this for my Father and the wider world on internet.  I hope you have enjoyed the tales of this week.

All the best until next Sunday,

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